You Must Be Born Again!

Turn with me in your Bibles to John chapter 2.

Last Sunday we saw Jesus chasing the buyers and the sellers out of the Temple on the Day of Passover. Jesus literally whipped them out with a scourge. I won’t re-preach what I said last week, other than to note the Scripture of:

Hebrews 12:5-8 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

God disciplines His children. He allows trials to come our way to make us more like Jesus. The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire” (1 Peter 1:7). Trials teach us to lean more on Jesus. Trials drive us into the arms of the Master. Trials stop us from thinking WE are GOD, and turn to Him Who is indeed God.

God also disciplines His children for disobedience. Just as God the Son used the scourge in the Temple, God uses the scourge on His children when they disobey Him. If you are never disciplined of God, then are ye bastards {illegitimate}, and not sons. Praise God that He loves me enough to chastise me when I err!

Jesus Came To Fix What Was In Man

John 2:23-25 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. 24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

You need to carefully read ALL the Scripture, for then you find out great truths. Having read about Jesus chasing the buyers and the sellers out of the Temple – do you remember that song Anne Murray sang back in 1970?

Every Time I look into the Holy Book I wanna tremble
When I read about the part where the carpenter cleared the temple
For the buyers and the sellers were no different fellers,
than what I profess to be
It causes me shame to know I’m not the person that I should be!
Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water;
Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea;
Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently;
By putting your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.

Word Study: While Jesus was at the Passover on the Feast day, He did miracles. This is the Greek σημεῖον sēmeîon, {pronounced say-mi’-on}, which means “miracle, sign, token, wonder. Something by which Jesus was marked as distinguished from all other Rabbis.” The Pharisees were always looking for a sēmeîon from Jesus (Matthew 12:38; 16:1). When Jesus identified Judas Iscariot at the one who would betray Him, He kissed Judas (Matthew 26:48), and this was called a sēmeîon. Jesus did things that no other person could do, things that the Bible calls sēmeîon. We don’t know specifically what He did – John does not tell us – but whatever Jesus was did was so significant and repeated that the Bible says:

vs 23 many believed in his name

Do you see that? They believed that Jesus was Who He said He was. They believed that He was the Messiah. But something was amiss. Even though they believed in his name the Bible says:

John 2:24-25 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man

Word Study: The word translated commit is the Greek πιστεύω pisteúō, {pronounced pist-yoo’-o}, which is commonly translated as “to have faith in, to trust, to believe in” {to “believe” is found 239x in the KJV). They believed Jesus was Who He said He was, but Jesus did not believe their profession. Why? The text tells us that:

vs 24 because {Jesus} knew all men,
25 … for he knew what was in man

Jesus knows the hearts of every person. Our Lord Jesus came to this earth to fix what ails us, and that is, to change our hearts. Under the Old Covenant people followed God, and made sacrifices to God, even keeping His Law. But they had a HEART problem. Every son of Adam has the same problem – they are physically alive, but spiritually dead. The theological term for this is total depravity. The doctrine of total depravity teaches that – because of Adam’s fall (Genesis 3:6) – every person is born into this world with a sin corrupted nature.

The mind, the will, the emotions, and even the flesh of the person without Christ is spiritually dead.

Those who were under the Law of Moses – who faithfully and repeatedly made animal sacrifices like those of the Passover – had a heart problem from birth. The Prophet Isaiah, a disciple of God under the Old Covenant, wrote:

Isaiah 64:6-8 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. 7 And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. 8 But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

Isaiah looked forward to the day when God the Potter would take us, and remake us, so that our heart would be devoted to God and not to religion. Religion cannot save. The sacrifices of Moses cannot save. The writer of Hebrews said:

Hebrews 10:4 … it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

The animal sacrifices made did not take away sin. Salvation from sin has always come about by faith in God. “The just shall live by his faith {in God} has been the teaching of God’s Word, from the Old Testament Habakkuk 2:4 to the New Testament Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11 & Hebrews 10:38. Abraham our father in the faith:

Romans 4:3 Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Abraham’s heart was turned to God. He trusted – not in the animal sacrifice – but in God. God did a work in Abraham – and Abraham believed.

Salvation is not a work of man, but a work of God in man. The Bible teaches that everyone was once:

Ephesians 2:1-3 … dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the {ways} of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

People are born – as David wrote in Psalm 51:5, “shapen in iniquity”. Only God can change the heart.

Psalm 58:3 The wicked are estranged {from God} from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

The people who saw Jesus didn’t entrust their lives to Jesus. They “believed in His name”. They believed that He was a special Person, greater than any Rabbi they had seen. These people are like so many today. They do not want Jesus, nor do they want to serve the living God through Him.

They want more of the goods of this world.
They want miracles, the healings.
They want more of the free wine that was made at Cana.
They want a god who will make them comfortable,
Not THE God Who would make them sons of God.

Jesus knew what was in their hearts. Though they said they believed in Jesus, Jesus didn’t believe in them. We have same problem today in America. People say they believe in Jesus, but Beloved, Jesus sees the heart.

Jesus sees that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked … who can know it? Well, Jesus can. Jesus does. Jesus knows the heart. But that’s why He came. Jesus came to fix the heart. Jesus did not come to bring about a new religion, but a new relationship with God. The Prophets looked forward to God the Messiah’s bringing in of the New Covenant. Moses prophesied in:

Deuteronomy 30:6 … the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

Jeremiah who preached among a hardened Israel, prophesied in:

Jeremiah 31:31-33 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

The Messiah – God the Son – would bring in a NEW COVENANT that would change the heart. It would fix the person from the inside outward. God promised:

Ezekiel 36:26-27 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

God promised to change the heart. He promised to put my spirit within you, to radically change those who would hear Him. Let me say this with all the love I can muster:

You can be religious, and yet go to hell when you die.
You don’t need religion. You need a relationship.
You need to be reborn, to leave the way of Adam.
Only Jesus can do this.

You Must Be Born Again!

Right after these wonderful texts we have expounded, we come to chapter 3. There is a man called Nicodemus who comes to Jesus by night.

John 3:1-2 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

Word Study: Nicodemus is a ruler of the Jews. He is ἄρχων árchōn, {pronounced ar’-khone}, which means “a ruler, commander, chief, leader, someone preeminent”. Several commentaries note that Nicodemus was possibly a key member of the Sanhedrim, the 70 rulers over Israel. In verse 10 Jesus calls Nicodemus a MASTER of Israel, wherein the word MASTER is the Greek διδάσκαλος didáskalos, {pronounced did-as’-kal-os}, which means “a Master Teacher, one with a Doctorate or great skills in interpreting the Talmud”. Here is a great man, a man well known to all, even Jesus. He didn’t come in and stick out his hand and say, “Hi Jesus, I’m Nicodemus”. This man was well known. This well known man said two things about Jesus:

  • (vvs 2) We know that thou art a teacher {didáskalos} come from God. Nicodemus tells Jesus We know. The Sanhedrim affirmed that Jesus was a MASTER of Israel, a didáskalos. This is powerful endorsement at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. If Jesus responds favorably He can expect the support of the most powerful men in Israel – something any of us would love to have if we were in a similar situation. A Master Teacher affirms Jesus as a Master Teacher, someone that God sent.
  • Nicodemus also told Jesus no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus did not just come FROM God, but God is with him. Again, this is a fantastic endorsement! How would Jesus respond?

Jesus ignored what Nicodemus said, flattering as it was. I love this quote:

Some teachers use flattery as a means to increase personal followings. Leaders desiring to attract a crowd sometimes water down their message until the gospel is reduced to little more than a God-tainted self-improvement program. They pepper their talks with cheerful verses and illustrations designed to make their hearers feel better about themselves (and about the teachers). There is much talk about discovering one’s potential and developing personal greatness. This is nothing more than flattery intended to create popularity for the speaker and his or her message. It sells books and media time, but it often bears little resemblance to the message Jesus proclaimed.”

Jesus didn’t take the bait! Jesus came to this earth not to be flattered, nor to develop a new religion, but to bring people into the Family of God. You must be supernaturally born into the Family of God. Jesus said:

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

We have shown earlier that, according to the Scripture, those without Christ are dead in trespasses and in sins. Those without Jesus are blind to the truths of God. Like Nicodemus, they might be religious, faithfully religious. They might be a big name in the religious circuit. But their hearts are far from God – they are but children of Adam. You must have another birth.

I suspect there are many professing Christians in the world today who may be seminary trained. They may study their Bibles religiously. They may be faithful members of a local Church. But they are missing something most integral. You must be born again. Jesus said:

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

God must draw the dead to God. When the Gospel of Jesus Christ is shared, I believe that God gives us a knowledge of our dead spiritual state. Jesus said:

John 14:26 … the Comforter, {Who} is the Holy {Spirit}, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Nicodemus needs to be born again. He needs to be “regenerated” by the Spirit of God. Nicodemus cannot see the Kingdom of God unless he personally and individually is “born again”. What Jesus says to Nicodemus confuses him. He asks Jesus:

John 3:4 … How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

Being “born again” is not to go through the birthing process you already have gone through. Being “born again” is being born a second and distinctly different time. Jesus said:

John 3:5-7 … Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Jesus started out by saying that you must be “born again to SEE the Kingdom of God”. Now Jesus says you must be “born again to ENTER the Kingdom of God”. This is a second, supernatural birth. Jesus said you must beborn of water AND of the Spirit. You are born of water when you enter this life through your mother. Unborn babies float in a sack of amniotic fluid – water – until they are born. When the sack busts, the baby is born, and enters the world a new creature. Jesus said, That which is born of the flesh is flesh. The newborn baby did nothing to assist in this “water birth” but rest in it’s mother.

The child of Adam is born of the flesh.
The child of God is born of the Spirit.

Regeneration or being Born Again is referred to as a “washing” in the New Testament, a “washing” by the Holy Spirit:

Titus 3:5-6 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior;

The Apostle said:

1 Corinthians 6:11 … ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

The Christian is a person who is – because of the Spirit of God – a “new creature in Christ”. We are no longer sons of Adam – we are sons of God. The Apostle said:

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

A Christian is not a Christian because of their denomination. A Christian is a Christian because God the Holy Spirit has made them so. I believe that a Child of God,

Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Is a person that heard the call of Christ. Responding to that call, that person repents of following their own definition of good and evil, and begins to willingly follow Jesus as both Lord and Savior. Upon calling upon Christ, the Holy Spirit of God – the same Spirit that opens our eyes to our need for Jesus – performs spiritual surgery on us. He changes our hearts, and makes us children of God. We no longer blend with the world. We are His, and He is ours.

Jesus Christ is our Elder Brother, and our King.
We belong to God!
We are possessed of God.
We are indwelt of God.
We are to walk as sons of God.
We will one day be in glory with God!

Jesus tells Nicodemus,

John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Jesus gives a beautiful illustration of the Holy Spirit here. The Holy Spirit – just like a wind in the trees – you do not see His coming nor His movement, but you see the effect on the trees. I did not see the Holy Spirit walk into the Church the day I was saved. But I felt Him blow through my soul. I felt my heart change. What I loved before, the sins I cherished, I now hate. The light I once shunned so that I could dance in the darkness, now I despise it. The lonely life I once lived, now I live in Christ. The Apostle put it this way:

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

I live by the faith of the Son of God”. I have faith in Him, and He has faith in me. He knows who I am, and I cherish Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior every day.

The Children Of God Have Eternal Security

The Apostle told the Hebrews:

Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

To leave this life a child of Adam – oh, how terrible that will be! To know Him only as the living God. Jesus will not commit Himself to you, if you will not receive Him as He is. Jesus is both Lamb of God and King of Kings. Jesus is the sacrifice for our sins, the Savior of our souls, but the Sovereign of our lives. If you know Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior – if you have called on Him with a heart awakened to Him by the Spirit – then you are secure in His arms.

On the day that Jesus hung on that terrible Cross for you and I, two thieves hung next to Him, one on the left and the other on the right. We are all born thieves. We steal God’s glory, and apply it to ourselves. We refuse to thank Him for the gift of life, nor even to acknowledge Him as the Giver of all that we have. We refuse to worship Him, but worship ourselves, and worship idols on television or on streaming services. We rob God of His due.

But He loves us anyway.

The thief on the left mocked Jesus. “If you be the son of God, save US and Yourself” (Luke 23:39). He was a thief still. But the thief on the right, he repented. “We receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss” (Luke 23:41). Repentance acknowledges that we should never have eaten the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Repentance doesn’t make excuses, or blame someone else. Repentance opens the eyes, and looks in the mirror, and looking, sees a sinner. The thief on the right, dying, looked at Jesus, and said:

Luke 23:42 … Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

Lord”! Dying, that man was born again into God’s Kingdom. “Today you shall be with Me in Paradise”. Beloved, you must be born again! Receive Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior! Receive Him as Lamb of God, slain for your sins. Receive Him as Lord of glory, the ruler of your life. Of His fullness receive eternal security in His family. May God move on your hearts this very day. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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